Questions loom for Carroll teams at wrestling states Westminster aims for title behind seven competitors

March 01, 1996|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

There are a whole bunch of questions waiting to be answered at the state wrestling tournament that starts today at Western Maryland College.

The five Carroll schools advanced 20 wrestlers to the tournament with Westminster, winners of the Class 3A-4A North region, qualifying a county-high seven.

Can the Owls, the surprise of the county this season, sneak out with a team title this weekend?

In the same region, South Carroll had three champs, including unbeatens Mike Chenoweth and Charlie Conaway, and will have five competing this weekend. Will Chenoweth win his third straight state title and can Conaway come away with his first?

For North Carroll, the focus will be solely on senior Tom Kiler, the Panthers' lone representative. Can Kiler, a defending state champ who is unbeaten, add to his four county and four region titles with a second state title?

Liberty's questions are with its two county champs -- seniors Kevin Jeffress and Scott Taylor -- who were both region runner-ups last weekend. How far can they go?

In the Class 1A-2A championship, Francis Scott Key has five wrestlers advancing after winning its third straight West region title last weekend. Seniors co-captains Jason Hooper and Ryan Etzler have been the Eagles' leaders all season. Can they close out their careers with state crowns?

Are there going to be any individual surprises this year? Remember when Key's Chris Beale won a state title at 140 with a 28-6 mark in 1994?

After winning their first county title in 10 years and following that with a region title, the No. 8 Owls are continuing to work hard. Northern-Calvert, Frederick and Damascus appear to be the favorites in the 3A-4A championship.

"We're definitely a darkhorse, but we've been getting better and better every week and haven't stopped yet," said Westminster coach Henry Mohlhenrich.

"Our guys going in are first and third seeds, no fourth seeds, and looking down the brackets, we have a couple of tough seeds, but not any that can't be won if our guys wrestle the way they're capable of. I just told them no one has expected us to do anything we've already done. We've fooled them every time so )) let's keep on going."

The Owls will be led by region champs Bobby Biden (31-5 at 112) and Charlie Minor (25-8 at 145). Jay Andrews (29-6 at 135) could be one of the surprises and senior Jason Hare (29-8 at 189) would like to go out with a strong showing.

South Carroll coach Pete Olson has his big guns in Chenoweth and Conaway, but was quick to mention senior Dan Alberter, who dominated the region with three straight 10-0 major decisions, the last coming against Dundalk's Travis Miller in the finals. At 24-3, his only losses have come against Key's Etzler, who will be competing in the 1A-2A championships.

"Dan dominated the region, not giving up a point and is wrestling sharp," Olson said. "Everybody on his side of the bracket has five, six or more losses. That's what we look at, how many losses a kid has."

Olson said freshman Mike Muller (22-6 at 135) is in a good spot to possibly place. Muller will open against Broadneck's Julian Tai, who he beat earlier.

"If he can knock that kid off, then it becomes a 'Can I win two more before I lose one deal?'" Olson said.

As for Chenoweth and Conaway -- both 27-0 -- Olson said, "The best way to describe them is Mike hates to lose and Charlie loves to win."

Both could be said for North Carroll's Kiler, who has methodically put together one of the finest high school careers in Carroll County history.

Some tough breaks late in the season have left No. 3 Key a long shot to win the Class 1A-2A title. The latest came this week in practice when 189-pounder Bobby Bollinger went down with a knee injury. Tony Cahoon, an alternate at 152 after placing fifth in regionals, will get to compete after several wrestlers in his class went down.

Owings Mills, ranked fourth in the metro area, is a favorite with 12 wrestlers qualifying with Lackey bringing 11 wrestlers this weekend.

Hooper (28-4 at 125) and Etzler (29-3 at 130) both earned top seeds in the West with their region title wins.

"All year, they've done all the intangibles," said Key coach Bill Hyson. "Not only have they enjoyed individual success, but also for the program. They're real hard workers who are very technically sound and have led by example this year. It's neat as seniors to see the season come together as it has for both of them."

The preliminaries for both classifications will run from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. today with the quarterfinals set to start at 7:30 tonight.

The championship semifinals will begin tomorrow at 11 a.m., followed by the consolation quarterfinals and semifinals. The consolation finals are set for 5 p.m. with the championship finals to follow.

Carroll County's Top Seeds

Class 1A-2A

Name School Yr. Wt. Record First-round opponent

Ryan Etzler F. Scott Key Sr. 130 29-3 Danny Selnick, Owings Mills

Jason Hooper F. Scott Key Sr. 125 28-4 Dave Stammler, Rising Sun

Class 3A-4A

Name School Yr. Wt. Record First-round opponent

Dan Alberter So. Carroll Sr. 130 24-3 Tom Saumweber, Springbrook

Bobby Biden Westminster So. 112 31-5 Rick Kim, Walter Johnson

Mike Chenoweth So. Carroll Sr. 171 27-0 Jim Burton, Northern-Calvert

Charlie Conaway So. Carroll Sr. 160 27-0 Marshall DuVal, Southwestern

Tommy Kiler No. Carroll Sr. 140 23-0 Brian Lazenby, Bladensburg

Charlie Minor Westminster Sr. 145 25-8 Adam Paik, LaPlata

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